Chapter 2: Search and Rescue Systems
- As they relate to the SAR in the United States,
describe the general roles of:
- National SAR Committee (NSARC) (p. 13)
- National SAR Plan (p. 13)
- National SAR Supplement to the IAMSAR Manual (p.
- Describe five elements of the COSPAS-SARSAT system
and the role an alerting personal locator beacon (PLB) plays in this
system. (p. 11-12)
- Demonstrate an understanding of the phrase, “All SAR
is local.” (p. 15)
- List the major responsibilities for search and rescue
for the following:
- Federal SAR Authorities (p. 13)
- State SAR Authorities (p. 15)
- Local SAR Authorities (p. 15)
- Describe the general operational capabilities of a
FEMA Urban SAR Task Force. (p. 17-18)
- Describe three criteria for triggering an AMBER alert
according to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. (p.
- Describe three steps a parent or childcare provider
should take when a child is missing. (p. 21)
PowerPoint slides, Chapter 2
II. Teaching Points
A. International Agreements (p. 10)
- The National Search and Rescue Committee (NSARC) is
responsible for two documents: The U.S. National SAR Plan and the U.S. National SAR Supplement to the IAMSAR Manual.
B. The IAMSAR Manual (p. 10)
- The International
Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue (IAMSAR) Manual was
developed jointly by ICAO and IMO to assist countries in meeting their
obligations under certain international agreements.
C. COSPAS-SARSAT (p. 11)
- COSPAS-SARSAT is an international humanitarian SAR
- Uses satellites to detect and locate emergency
beacons carried by
Ships (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons [EPIRBs])
Aircraft (Emergency Locator Transmitters [ELTs])
Individuals (Personal Locator Beacons [PLBs])
- The COSPAS system was developed by Russia. The SARSAT system was developed jointly
by the United States, Canada and France.
These four countries banded together in 1979 and the system became
fully operational in 1984.
- In the United States, this system is operated by the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
- When a distress radio beacon (first element) is activated, the signal is received by a
satellite (second element) and
relayed to the nearest available ground terminal or Local User Terminal
(LUT) (third element), which
calculates the position from which the signal originated.
- This position is transmitted to a Mission Control
Center (MCC) (fourth element)
where it is joined with identification data and transmitted to the
appropriate rescue coordination center (RCC) (fifth element) based on the geographic location of the
- The RCC then notifies the appropriate SAR response
D. U.S. National Search and Rescue
Plan (NSP) (p. 13)
- The NSP was developed primarily to provide guidance
to federal agencies who participate in the plan for coordinating civil SAR
services to meet domestic needs and international commitments.
- NSARC is responsible for coordinating and improving
federal involvement in civil SAR for the aeronautical, maritime, and land
communities within the United States.
E. The National SAR Supplement
(NSS) (p. 14)
- The U.S. National
SAR Supplement (NSS) to the IAMSAR Manual is designed to serve as both
a training and operational tool for civil SAR operations in the United
- Very little in the NSS is mandatory because it is
not intended to relieve SAR personnel of the need for initiative and
F. Comprehensive Emergency
Management and Disaster Response (p. 15)
- National Response Plan (NRP) was created to align
federal coordination structures, capabilities, and resources into a
unified, all-discipline, and all-hazards approach to domestic incident
- Published in November 2004
- There are 15 Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) in
the NRP, which detail the missions, policies, structures, and
responsibilities of federal agencies for coordinating resource and
programmatic support to states, tribes, and other federal agencies or
other jurisdictions during “Incidents of National Significance.”
- ESF #9 is Urban Search and Rescue.
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) serves
as the lead agency for National Response Plan’s ESF-9.
- At this time, there are 28 specially equipped and
trained USAR task forces across the United States that can be requested
to provide assistance at large-scale disasters.
- Local emergency management programs
- Responsible for providing overall pre-disaster
planning and other programs such as training and exercises for natural
and human-caused disasters that can affect a community.
- Routine emergencies are daily situations faced by
citizens and local emergency services personnel.
- For example, when the county search and rescue team
activates to locate a missing person, they are managing an
emergency. These responsibilities
give rise to the phrase, “All SAR is local.”
- When local resources and capabilities have been
exhausted, the next higher level of response (county, state, or federal)
G. Miscellaneous SAR Tools (p. 20)
- The AMBER Plan
- Voluntary partnership between law enforcement
agencies and broadcasters to activate an urgent bulletin in the most
serious child-abduction cases.
AMBER refers to America’s
Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response.
- Broadcasters use the Emergency Alert System (EAS)
to air a description of the abducted child and suspected abductor. This is the same concept used during
severe weather emergencies.
- National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
- Provides services nationwide for families and
professionals in the prevention of abducted, endangered, and sexually
H. If My Child Is Missing:
Advice from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (p. 21)
1. Three steps to
- Immediately search the house, checking closets and
piles of laundry¾wherever a child may crawl
or hide. Get everyone around to help, including neighbors. If you cannot
find the child, immediately call local law enforcement.
- If in a store, immediately call law enforcement
while notifying the store manager. Also, ask them to put an employee or
someone responsible (immediately) at all exits to make sure the child
does not exit (or is forcibly removed) without being seen.
- TEACH your children what to do when lost¾for
example, Hug-A-Tree©, find an employee or police officer, and